Taking Indian Architecture to Another Level
It's a new year and innovative ideas await architecture. Here is a list of designs that Indian architecture can look forward to.
- Solar Furnace - Odeilo, France
This structure was built by engineer Felix Trombe for research use by the National Research Scientific Centre. Odeillo consists of 10,000 mirrors that are shaped like cooking pots that face the hillside. The sunlight that hits these mirrors directly raises the temperature to around 3,500°C. This infrastructure is mostly used for research, producing hydrogen and nano-particles but if solar furnaces are built in open areas for connecting different villages and providing them solar electricity it would work just as efficiently.
- Container City - London, UK
Container City was installed in 2001 where they built office spaces with containers that are used for shipping. Basically, these containers were recycles and used to create usable space at a low cost. The benefit of these containers is that they are reusable and flexible to work around short-term and medium-term accommodation. These kinds of spaces can be used near developing sites, so the offices can be nearby. Since it is affordable housing, it can be used for labourers near construction sites. This way not only is it affordable but also livable.
- Civic Center - Santa Monica, California
When planning the layouts of the city in 2005, it was concluded that the Civic Center would reflect “the malaise of urban America today”. This three-acre site consists of 158 condominiums, 160 income-restricted apartments and 20, 000 acres of free retail space. What is thoughtful about this site is that there is a mix of people and everything is available within the complex. These kinds of complexes should be made in all the metro cities of India. This way, there is a mix of different income families together and they have equal advantages of a good lifestyle. Differentiation between different kinds of societies would not create issues.
- Youth Hostel - Shenzhen, China
Youth Hostel is used as a dormitory building which was renovated by O-Office Architects. They transformed the façade into a more dynamic structure and this way it facilitates new living units. The structure has considered the spatial and visual requirements of today's nomads. This idea can be used in many areas that want to keep the old buildings but renovate the interiors according to modern facilities. They can be turned into hostels, hotels or cafés even but with a vintage exterior.
- Cultura Bookstore - Sao Paulo, Brazil
This bookstore is more than just a place where you would go to buy your “must reads”. This bookstore is designed so you can hang out with your books. So, it is not about finding the book and leaving but about finding the book and staying. The open spaces of the bookstore allow you to pick a book of interest and read a chapter before purchasing it. More libraries should be built this way which would allow readers to laze with the books a little longer before they decide to purchase it.
- The Iceberg – Mariane Thomsas Gade, Denmark
The Iceberg is not your ordinary block building complexes. The astonishing feature of these buildings is that they are shaped as L-shaped wings. There is a rise and fall of peaks which allows the buildings built behind a view of the harbour, where The Iceberg is located. This complex is pleasant to have in a worn-out harbour in Denmark and it is the largest harbour front in a developed city. Similar designs can be used for infrastructure in India, especially in localities that have spectacular views. Whether at a harbour front, beach or hill station, these complexes would definitely be a hit anywhere. The L-shape winged design would let all residents have a great view and the modern design would be of interest for many.
- Farming KinderGarten - Biên Hòa, Dong Nai, Vietnam
Vietnam's economy runs on its agricultural sector although right now it is switching over to the manufacturing sector. But with all the climate consequences that Vietnam is facing with droughts, floods and heavy congestion, Farming KinderGarten is a way to tackle these issues. Farming KinderGarten is located near a big shoe factory and the workers' children study and learn here. This building has a continuous green roof which is triple-ringed and encircles three different courtyards. With green vegetation on the roof, natural ventilation in classrooms and mechanical energy saving methods, this green building is a great learning platform for low-income families' children. Such education would be a great addition in villages.
- Gheskio Cholera Treatment Centre - Haiti
Haiti was hit by a major earthquake in 2010 and there were no treatment centres. That motivated MASS Design Group, a not-for-profit firm, to open Gheskio Cholera Treatment Centre as there were around 75,000 such cases. The infrastructure is low cost and no high-cost operating systems are required. There is provision of natural light and ventilation due to porous cladding built by local metalworkers. An on-site wastewater treatment facility is also present. This kind of treatment centre can be designed and built in many rural areas. Many rural localities lack health care and with the right knowledge of equipment and materials, an eco-friendly health care centre is a way to develop the localities.
Many projects are being built all over India. You see them, you read about them but is it really just about making luxurious complexes with numerous amenities? The innovative infrastructure projects cited above have a touch of art, architecture and creativity and most of them work with materials that can be reused and have adopted eco-friendly approaches. Look out, maybe there will be an evolution in infrastructure soon!